A handful of players from the Pacific University Boxers football team will be taking their off-season training south of the border when they travel to Buenos Aires, Argentina and Montevideo, Uruguay.
The trip starts on May 16 and goes until May 28. In that time the Boxers will go head to head against two club teams, one per city. Before each game, the team will spend two days hosting a football clinic with their opponents where they will promote the sport in the area.
Being part of the NCAA Division III allows for a foreign tour every four years. Defensive Ends Coach Marc Moody said the team was initially looking at trips to Asia with stops in China and Japan, but changed to South America due to the cost.
Because the players have to pay for the trip themselves, only 44 players will be going with the team.
The list includes All-Northwest Conference first team selection linebacker Tim Hastie and All-NWC second team selection place kicker Moses Villareal-Gomez.
NWC honorable mention players quarterback P.J. Minaya and defensive lineman Devin Lagorio are going as well.
The Boxers will have a couple days to be tourists and participate in cultural events in each city.
Buenos Aires is the birthplace of Tango, and the players will have the opportunity to learn from the source.
The trip will also be great for team chemistry. The players going will have an extra two games to play together, including the quarterback-receiver combo of Minaya to Jakob Lawrence and Jordan Fukumoto.
Head football coach Keith Buckley called the trip “a cultural exchange to share the game of football in a region that has had a recent football push. It is just another experience [for our players] to complete the whole of Pacific life.”